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The Fluoride Wars

How a Modest Public Health Measure Became America's Longest-Running Political Melodrama

R. Allan Freeze, Jay H. Lehr

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John Wiley & Sons img Link Publisher

Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / Chemie


A lively account of fluoridation and its discontents Since its first implementation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in1945, public drinking water fluoridation and its attendantconflicts, controversies, and conspiracy theories serve as anobject lesson in American science, public health, and policymaking.In addition to the arguments on the issue still raging today, thetale of fluoridation and its discontents also resonates with suchpresent concerns as genetically modified foods, global warmingresponse, nuclear power, and environmental regulation. Offering the best current thinking on the issue, The FluorideWars presents a witty and detailed social history of thefluoridation debate in America, illuminating the intersection ofscience and politics in our recent past. This reader-friendlyassessment explores the pro- and anti-fluoridation movements, keyplayers, and important events. Full of amusing and vivid anecdotesand examples, this accessible recounting includes: * A careful and non-condescending look at the hard science,popular science, pseudo-science, and junk science involved * A look at fluoride issues including dosage, cost, financial andfunding interests, fluorosis, and problems of risk-cost-benefitanalysis * The back-and-forth drama between pro- and anti-fluoridationfactions, with all its claims, counterclaims, insults, acrimony,and lawsuits * Case studies of various cities and their experiences withmunicipal water fluoridation initiatives * Fluorophobia and popular conspiracy theories involvingfluoride * The colorful characters in the debate including activists,scientists, magicians, and politicians A richly and considerately told tale of American science andpublic life, The Fluoride Wars offers an engrossing history to bothinterested general readers and specialists in public health,dentistry, policymaking, and related fields.


(Chromatographia, June 2010)
"The authors have put an enormous effort into acquiring the data inthis book and... it is a very interesting and stimulating read."
(Chemical and EngineeringNews, September 2009)
"The authors should be commended for providing all of thefacts of the controversy in one place. Their call for both sides toget together to study the health issues with reason and respect isalso a worthwhile goal because, as they point out; perhaps then'this long-standing and somewhat silly dispute could finallyhe laid to rest.'"
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Umweltanalytik, Gesundheits- u. Sozialwesen, Chemistry, Wissenschaft u. Technologie der Mundheilkunde, Oral Sciences & Technology, Dentistry, Health & Social Care, Gesundheitswesen / Umwelt u. Arbeitsplatz, Environmental & Occupational Health, Zahnmedizin, Chemie, Environmental Analysis